A fifth team for the inaugural Grant Thornton Invitational has been announced by the LPGA and PGA Tours. Three-time LPGA Tour winner and major champion Lilia Vu will partner with PGA Tour winner Joel Dahmen for the mixed-gender team event in December at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla.
Vu joined the LPGA Tour in 2019, and after a lackluster rookie campaign and a 2020 season derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, she returned to the Epson Tour for the 2021 season, winning three times and finishing first in the Race for the Card to once again full status for the 2022 season. Last year was solid for the UCLA alum as she only missed two cuts and recorded eight top-10 finishes, most notably tying for 10th at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club, but 2023 has really been the Californian’s breakout year on the LPGA Tour.
She became a Rolex First-Time Winner in her first event of the season at the Honda LPGA Thailand, and went on to win again just four starts later, taking home her first major title at The Chevron Championship. She then represented the United States for the first time in her professional career at the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown at TPC Harding Park in May, and after her game cooled slightly over the summer, Vu captured her third career victory in August at the AIG Women’s Open, winning by six shots over Charley Hull.
Following that victory at Walton Heath Golf Club, the 26-year-old ascended to No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings for the first time in her young career and has held the position for a total of eight weeks thus far. September saw Vu compete in her first Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain, earning one point for the Americans in the singles session.
Along with her three wins, Vu has earned 10 additional career top-10 finishes and has made $3,679,450 in career earnings, $2,756,681 of which she has earned this season. She clinched the 2023 Rolex ANNIKA Major Award with her two major wins earlier this year and currently leads the Race to the CME Globe as well as the Rolex Player of the Year standings.
As she looks ahead to the Grant Thornton Invitational in December, Vu is excited for an opportunity to tee it up alongside players from the PGA Tour, something she feels has been “a long time coming” for both organizations. But she’s more thrilled about partnering with Dahmen for the ground-breaking event, someone of which Vu has recently become a big fan.
“I think I’m too excited. After watching “Full Swing”, I became a huge fan,” said Vu. “I find (Joel) very relatable and funny, and I think Cole (Pensanti, her caddie) and I kind of have the same relationship that him and Geno (Bonnalie, Dahmen’s caddie) have. I think we're gonna have a lot of fun. I know Geno and Cole know each other so that's gonna be fun. I feel like I'm gonna get starstruck though. I'm gonna ask him to sign my hat. I hope I play well. I don't want to let him down.”
Dahmen has one win on the PGA Tour, the 2021 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, and has made $11,050,600 in official money since joining the organization in 2017. The Washington native has recorded 22 career top-10 finishes and has finished in the top five nine times in his career.
The Grant Thornton Invitational will take place from December 8 through December 10 at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla. A total of 32 players comprising 16 teams will compete for a $4 million purse. For ticket information, please click here.
Netflix star Joel Dahmen and two-time Major Champion Lilia Vu are teaming up for the Grant Thornton Invitational! pic.twitter.com/9ZwRlGA8XJ— Grant Thornton Invitational (@gtinvitational) October 18, 2023